Category Archives: Crafts

Creative friends…

My friend Monica puts me to shame with how quickly she sews things up. She’s started selling soakers and wipes so if you have a baby, know a baby, have a baby shower to attend, or anything involving a baby, go check out her stuff:

Mama Bird

Incidentally, she also wrote books on baby signing! Check out Signing With Your Baby and buy her books.

On another note, if you happen to live in Toronto, my friend Krista is having an art show. (Man, I have some amazing friends.) So if you’re in the area you should really check it out. Here’s a link to the Facebook event with the details about the show.

Now I’ll just go hang my head in shame at my total lack of creativity lately!

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It can’t rain all the time

Lately I haven’t had any motivation to do anything.  I am very lonely and it’s translating into total apathy on my part.  I’m dying for a bit of sunshine and warmth and hoping that it pulls me up out of this slump.  We’re coming up on a year since my best friend moved away and I’m still grieving it like a death.  Lately the bad weather, constant snowstorms, have just compounded things.  I kind of feel silly, like I’m being a baby, but I really can’t help it.  So it goes…

As I mentioned, I finally decided to buy a Blythe doll.  And a Dal.  The obsession hit fast and hard.  I’m really having such a hard time finding anything on making stuff for them though.  Furniture.  Dollhouses.  Sewn clothes.  I thought, in this day and age of the internet, there would be TONS out there.  There isn’t.  Half the links I do find are dead.  So maybe I’m coming into the craze late I don’t know.  It seems like the collecting is still going strong so what’s with all the dead links and lack of information?

So, my parents gave me a folding work table for my birthday and a friend gave me an extra Mastercraft rotary tool she had.  I already have a saw and a drill.  I’m ready to make stuff!  I’ve decided to just sort of go for it and try to figure things out on my own.  I haven’t made it to the hardware store yet but I’m really disappointed in how little I can find at Michaels.  They’ve driven any other local area craft store out of business and that’s bad enough (along with their overpriced goods) but they really seem to have narrowed down the supplies they carry and it’s making me insane.  They really cater mainly to people who make jewelry, who knit, who do things with fake flowers (I don’t know what you do with them but they have a ton), scrapbooking and cake decorating.  That’s fantastic if you do those things.  Not so fantastic if you do other crafts.  It’s even more frustrating that they have some stuff for a given craft but not enough for it to even make sense.  Case in point, they sell resin but they do not carry a single resin mold.

Now don’t get me wrong, while I do think they are very overpriced, I actually really like Michaels but I’m getting so fed up of going over there and coming up short because they just don’t have what I want.  I did buy some wood pieces there.  I was hoping I’d find a few specific shapes/sizes but it looks like I’ll need to go to the hardware store for that.  The really unfortunate part is that I can’t really do too much right now.  I can’t really use power tools in the kitchen or something and there is a good 6 feet+ of snow everywhere.  We can’t even go into our backyard right now so I can’t go outside either (not that I’d want to in the cold but still).  Woe is me right?  I guess it just sucks because I get really excited about doing something and set out to get supplies and what not and just run into a huge wall.

I would like to get back into my sewing room and start actually making things but I just don’t have the inspiration right now.  I definitely want to try out the new Keyka Lou pattern and that actually might get me back in there.  Maybe if I make that one thing it will shake me out of this silly melancholy and remind me that I love to sew.

I also really want to build a room box/diorama (wish I could find something that even just mentioned dimensions to help me out) and some 1/6 size furniture.  Not just for me either.  If I enjoy it, I’d like to make some for others too.  And if I do figure these things out on my own successfully, then I  will come here and post tutorials so that no one else has to go through the frustration that I am going through.

Fingers crossed!

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Dollhouse

Since I decided to indulge myself and buy a Blythe doll, I’ve been hunting down patterns like any good sewer would.  I’ve found a lot of knitted and crochet patterns but I don’t really know how to crochet and knitting hurts my hands so badly I just can’t do it.  I’ve gotten a few clothing patterns to sew and am in the middle of what can only be described as disaster trying to make my first one.  It doesn’t help that I don’t have the doll yet though I did manage to find one of my old Barbies for sizing.  The only problem is Barbie is nowhere near as flexible so a dress that might slip onto a Blythe doesn’t want to go onto Barbie because she won’t bend at the arm joints.

I was really surprised when I started looking for doll furniture instructions.  I know that Blythe, like Barbie, is considered 1/6 scale or play scale.  I assumed, wrongly, that finding tons of resources on building furniture for Barbies (if not aimed directly at Blythe) would be a piece of cake.  Thanks to the giant (and really very ugly) American Girl dolls, everything is sized for an 18″ doll.  And dollhouse furniture is 1/12th scale so it’s much too small.  I’ve found a few things but nothing like what I expected to find and most of it is ugly or instructs you on how to make things out of junk around the house.   That’s fine for little kids but I’m looking at this as a hobby and as such I’m looking for something that will look really nice.

Shop class was a long, long time ago but I’m determined to start using woodworking tools and make things out of wood.  It just looks like I’m going to have to come up with the patterns on my own as well.  Right now we’re buried under a ridiculous mountain of snow and that really sucks because I can’t really start using a saw in the house.  I wouldn’t be too popular if I did!

Like sewing, there’s something about things constructed out of wood that just makes sense to me when I look at it.  I don’t know if I’m fooling myself or not but I have the same feeling, that I’ll be able to figure things out and do them, like I did when I talked about sewing.  Maybe I just have an incredible legacy that urges me on.  Maybe I’ll realize I don’t like it at all but I don’t think that will be the case.  I live in a house filled with furniture made by my great grandfather.  I’m not saying I’ll be able to do the things that he did by any stretch of the imagination but surely I have enough of his blood in my veins to be able to construct dollhouse furniture even if I can’t find instructions to guide me…

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Is it true that I’m no longer young?

Another year older. Yesterday was my birthday. Nothing really happened but I had a good day and that’s really all that matters.

I decided to be impulsive and spent some money online buying a Blythe and a Dal. I’ve wanted them for so long and now I’m going to have them. I’ve been interested in miniatures, dolls and collectibles for as long as I can remember. I suppose it all falls into the realm of crafts. And I plan to try to sew Blythe sized clothes.

I’m distracted by the tv I’m watching so I guess I should end this but I thought I should say something since I had another birthday.

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It’s only life, after all…

I’ve wanted to try screen printing for a very long time.  When I got interested in sewing I quickly became even more interested in the idea of printing on fabric.  Like a lot of things, I never really took the time to figure it out.  Recently I bought a Speedball screen printing kit from Michaels.  I’ve been eyeing that thing for well over a year and I finally thought, what am I waiting for?  So it’s been sitting on my desk waiting for that right moment when I decide to figure it all out.  I anticipate that this will be a kind of messy project so I’m waiting for an afternoon when I feel like I’ve got time to kill and won’t mind the mess.  I think that day is coming soon.

I’ve been sick, really sick, for about 3 weeks and I’m only now starting to feel better though I still sound terrible.  I can’t sing at all which is absolutely tragic for me.  Not that I have a nice singing voice, I don’t, but I do like to sing when I’m alone and I keep forgetting and trying to sing and nothing comes out but weird hoarse noises.   Somehow during the illness I managed to really, really hurt myself coughing.  I know it’s not a pulled muscle.  I’ve pulled muscles and they don’t feel like you’re being stabbed with a giant sword.  It’s meant that I can’t lay down properly, I can’t really reach above my head, basically it just hurts and because I’m unable to sleep and move around properly, my back has started to ache.  It feels a lot like when I tore my calf muscle only it’s in my ribcage area.  So, basically, I haven’t quite felt like myself for nearly a month now and while I’ve still been doing some sewing, I haven’t felt like going all out on a new craft or anything like that.

This year both my mother and I were sick during Chanukah so we postponed the family dinner that we always have and we’re going to have it Christmas day instead.  It’s always been a fairly dull day for me.  Nothing to do, none of my friends around, so I’m always glad when we decide to have a family dinner that day just because we can.  I’ve made gifts for my aunt and my father’s cousin who come over every year for Chanukah and for Thanksgiving.

Here’s their gifts:

The bigger bag is for my father’s cousin Rhoda. She kept hinting she wanted a bag like mine. The bag I use is actually the Highbrow Hobo pattern from U-Handbag. The bag I made for Rhoda is the Everything Bag. The main outer part of the bag is a cotton twill so it should be nice and sturdy.

My aunt Edie had seen the metal frame purses I was making and really liked them. I didn’t have anything made that suited her so I made the one in the photo for her. It’s actually made from a Japanese linen fabric and I really like the way it looks and how nicely it sits up on its own.

I have a few other things that I’d like to make. I won’t post about them because they’re gifts and, unlike Edie and Rhoda, the intended people who will receive them are online. There are several other sewing related projects I’d like to try. Different patterns and techniques and things. Now that I’m starting to feel more like myself I think I might actually get around to trying them. Of course I’m avoiding reality and the thought that eventually I won’t be able to spend my days in my sewing room because it’s where I’m happiest and ever since my best friend Kate moved happy has been a bit hard to come by.

I’m actually going away toward the end of the month. My friend Rachel is having a New Year’s eve party and I’m heading to Virginia to stay with her and her boyfriend for a few days. I’ve never been to Virginia but they seem to be getting a fair bit of snow while over here on the Atlantic coast of Canada, we’ve got none! Go figure.

I did buy myself another present. Awhile back I read on one of the blogs I follow that Silhouette was having a Cyber Monday sale on their Silhouette SD machines. It had been in the back of my mind for awhile that I might like to have one and when I saw the deal I figured, why not? I freely admit that I have impulse control issues. Anyway, I’ve got that thing and I’ve been having some fun with it. Originally I’d wanted it so that I could make some really interesting stencils but then once I got it I started making cards and things and I’m kind of excited about that. I’ve already used it tons so I know I didn’t make a mistake in getting it. I’d like to try glass etching at some point, that might be fine. Or a fun way to seriously injure myself!

Well, I think I’ll kick back and relax some more. The cocktail of pills (all legal, otc) I took to combat the pain has actually really helped but it’s also made me feel sluggish. It’s a good night to relax with some CSI, I think. Oh wait, that’s every night!

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